The 2014 high school basketball season is in the books, with the Vernon Yellow Jackets seeing on of their more successful years in recent memory, posting a 17-8 mark before being upset in the Class 1A District 2 tournament. One of the big reasons for their success? Alex Brown, and for Alex, the decision to continue his career at the next level came less then a year ago.
"I started playing AAU basketball down on the beach and that kind of opened my eyes up, and let me see what kind of talent was out there,” he said. “It let me know I needed to step up my game if I wanted to be successful."
Remarkably, the late bloomer caught the eyes of the University Louisiana Monroe, and two weeks ago, Alex became the first Vernon basketball player to ever sign a Division 1 scholarship out of high school.
"It couldn't have happened to a better kid. He deserved it,” said head coach Thomas Register. “I'm really shocked that over 100 years of basketball have been played here and no one has ever signed D1. They have two State Championships in boys basketball. For him to be the first one is a huge accomplishment."
"I hope I'm not the only one to do it,” said Alex. “I hope many more do it, and I hope I'm setting a standard for all the ones under me."
Alex has set that standard pretty high, as he averaged 32 points per game for the Jackets this season and the two numbers that make up his GPA are even higher- at a 3.8.
"I hope they have dreams of doing more then what I am,” he said. “I want to see them do more then me. I want to see them average 33 points per game, or a 3.9 GPA."
"He makes the whole program look better,” said coach Register. “We go down to Williston, play in a tournament, he takes the ACT, scores really high on the ACT, and then turns around, and scores 20 in the game. Coaching a kid like that- it's fun."
It's also fun to see the results, and with Alex leaving a lasting legacy behind him, the future looks pretty fun as well.
"I hope everyone uses me as example, and I hope I let them know that hey, this guy came from nothing,” said Alex. “Basketball wasn't a thing, and he made it his thing, and did great at what he was trying to do."
It’s a thing that he decided to take to the next level just a year ago. Alex said while he’s still undecided about what he wants to study in college, one this is for sure, he’s ready to begin his career at ULM.